I had never been to Hong Kong before (APAC swimming was generously hosted by Hong Kong International School this year) so I was pretty excited to get to see even a bit of the city. Within our first 2 hours in the city we hit Stanley Plaza, a beautiful shopping mall that would become the center of our out-of-the-pool activities, and I bought 2 shirts at the H&M. After this we headed to the school, met our homestays, and headed to their homes for the night.
APAC is a unique experience because instead of staying in hotels or dorms, all athletes are hosted by families of the school. My roommate this year was freshman Libby and we stayed with Leah and Alyssa, students at HKIS.
Waiting for our next eventsThe 5-day meet was a bonding experience for our team from beginning to end. We laughed, played a lot of cards, cheered our lungs out, swam our hearts out, and not-so-subtly stalked the cute boys. We had several first and second place finishes in both individual and relay events and, most excitingly, at the APAC Closing Awards Ceremony both our boys and our girls teams won the APAC Sportsmanship award! I find this award to be particularly special because every other team has to vote for this award, we all rank each other, which means the other teams and other swimmers thought we had the best sportsmanship! What a fantastic parting gift for my last APAC!
I'll miss these girls so much!
My roommate last year, Sydney
On our final night we all had a team bonding trip to Stanley, as did several other teams actually, and it ended up being far more emotional that I originally thought! Tears were shed as goodbyes were said and hugs exchanged before heading back to our homestays for one more night.
My final APAC was a pretty great one, full of amazing teammates and some wonderful homestays (who have gotten me hooked on Hawaii Five-0, the newer one, which I honestly recommend to everyone now), and I know I'll remember this trip for years to come. As the girls' captain this year, I couldn't be prouder of how Airi, Chelsie, Libby, Lauren, Sydney, Jillian, Raina, and Ashley swam--I love and will miss them all.